Fakir Alamgir: A singer of the masses
Harun ur Rashid
Leading exponent of Gono Sangeet (People's song) Fakir Alamgir believes, "Gono Sangeet is not just another genre of music; it is also an artistic expression of revolt against all discrimination and dictatorship." And the month of February is obviously another occasion to infuse the nation with the eternal spirit of equality and fraternity. "Gono Sangeet is a fitting tribute to the Language Martyrs who sacrificed their lives to establish Bangla as our mother tongue," says Fakir.
Songs like Rafique Shafique Barkat nameyi, O amar ei Bangla bhasha, Ora amar mukher kotha kaira nitey chaay, Lakho shahider rokter binimoye, Orey bangalee bhai krishti chhere cholechho kothay and many more have captured the spirit of Amar Ekushey and inspired people. "After the barbarous killing on February 21, Hemanga Biswas of West Bengal composed a song--Shono desher bhai bhogini--where he tells the tale of Amar Ekushey," asserts Fakir. "It is one of the songs written and sung immediately after the incidents of February 21."
Besides Amar bhai-er roktey rangano Ekushey February, Amar Ekushey has featured in many other songs. Among them are Roktey amar abar proloydola--written by Indu Saha and tuned by Sheikh Luthfur Rahman, Daam diye kinechhi Bangla--written and tuned by Abdul Latif, Ami rokto diye kinlam Bangla--written by Aliul Alam and tuned by Fakir Alamgir and many others.
"What is unique about Gono Sangeet is that the songs are not pigeon holed for particular occasions, "says Fakir. "One can sing Naam taar chhilo John Henry, which is based on the heroic feat of John Henry on May Day, or Oma Khudiramer galpo balo na on any occasion. But the songs immediately correspond to the very spirit of independence and democracy," he concludes.
February 21 is also the birthday Fakir Alamgir. In 1976 he formed the acclaimed group Wrishiz Shilpi Gosthi and since then has been performing Gono Sangeet under its banner. His resounding voice as well as a unique style of singing has earned him popularity among the mass.
Fakir Alamgir sings to a receptive audience